Wasabi’s powerful chemical compounds: isothiocyanates
Isothiocyanates are chemicals found in wasabi that stimulate hair regrowth on the scalp, along with many other benefits. Isothiocyanates are also responsible for the spicy and bitter taste found in wasabi. They are formed when a compound called glucosinolate present in wasabi is broken down by an enzyme called myrosinase.
How wasabi can help promote hair growth
If you can get past the watery eyes, wasabi could be a miracle for many people experiencing forms of baldness. But, it doesn’t work the way you may think. No, you don’t have to eat spoonfuls of wasabi every day – you simply have to rub it on your scalp!
Weird? Yes. When applied to your scalp, the chemicals found in wasabi are said to stimulate your papilla cells, which are cells found at the bottom of hair follicles and play a pivotal role in hair growth. The isothiocyanates found in wasabi essentially feed the papilla cells, which in turn help jump-start the production of fresh hair follicles. The result? Increased hair thickness and improved hair texture.
It’s also important to note that these chemicals are only found in real wasabi, not the kind that you would find at your average grocery store or sushi restaurant. The wasabi found in the United States is actually a concoction using horseradish, which unfortunately will not help restore those luscious locks.
Other surprising health benefits of wasabi
Aside from hair growth, there are many other health benefits associated with eating wasabi. The chemical compounds found in wasabi are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition to promoting bone health and increased bone density, studies have suggested that consuming wasabi might reduce the risk of lung, bladder, prostate and even breast cancer.
A potential spicy solution, but not a guarantee
While many of the benefits listed seem amazing and groundbreaking, a lot of research is still in preliminary testing stages. There is also no evidence to support that wasabi can fix or improve male pattern baldness, which is caused by an overabundance of a hormone called DHT.
That being said, many brands have taken wasabi’s hair growth benefits and run with it, creating lines of hair growth supplements and shampoos with wasabi as their primary ingredient. So if you are losing one too many hairs in the shower, you might want to give these products a try! However, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, and to use hair care products that suit your hair type.